MPD opposes relocation of Ziegfeld's/Secrets
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MPD opposes relocation of Ziegfeld's/Secrets


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From:Rick Rosendall
Sent:Monday, March 31, 2008 8:20 PM
To:lchibbaro@washblade.com
Cc:glaa@yahoogroups.com; membersonly@dccouncil.us; mayor@dc.gov; cathy.lanier@dc.gov; 'Parson, Brett (MPD)'; matt@gllu.org; tania@gllu.org; tomi@gllu.org; juanita@gllu.org; zunnobia@gllu.org; pat@gllu.org; buckley@gllu.org; kevin@gllu.org; vince@gllu.org; joe@gllu.org; dustin@gllu.org; sterling@gllu.org; Christopher.Dyer@dc.gov
Subject:MPD opposes relocation of Ziegfeld's/Secrets


[Note: Because of the importance of this matter, I am copying GLAA’s email list plus top DC elected officials in addition to Chief Lanier and the entire staff of MPD’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.]

Lou,

I just listened to your voicemail saying that Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, one of the gay clubs displaced by the baseball stadium, has applied to transfer its license to 1824 Half Street SW, which once was the location of a gay club called the Pier 9. [I am summarizing your message here for the benefit of those I am copying.] You said that an MPD representative announced last Wednesday at an ANC subcommittee meeting that the police are opposing the license transfer, claiming that it will create crime and will divert police attention from other neighborhood areas to that isolated warehouse area, so MPD is asking the ANC to oppose it. You further state that while the ANC plans to protest the application to extract a so-called “voluntary agreement” out of the licensee [by the way, such agreements tend to be more coerced than voluntary, but we can go into that later], they are not planning to “go to the mat” to keep it from opening. You seek comment from GLAA, so here it is.

It is outrageous for an arm of the DC Government to oppose the relocation of the one displaced gay club that appears to have found a new location, given the District government’s role in causing the displacement in the first place. It is particularly outrageous for MPD to do so. As Kojo Nnamdi pointed out on WAMU radio last June when we discussed Jim Graham’s club relocation bill during the Friday noontime DC Politics Hour, there is far less evidentiary basis for gay clubs being a locus of crime than for straight clubs, yet it is the gay club zone that was completely wiped out. The idea that clubs equals crime is often treated as a given regardless of the evidence, with the result that responsible and law-abiding clubs are breezily lumped in with irresponsible clubs. For the police to embrace this false generalization represents an abuse of their mission. As to diverting police resources, excuse me very much but the customers of our clubs are citizens and taxpayers like everyone else, and they are entitled to their share of police resources. It was bad enough when the Council went along with the former police chief’s insistence that police officers not be allowed to moonlight as security guards at clubs, based on the unfair assumption that any officer so employed would be corrupted. We say punish the corrupt, do not smear everyone with the same brush.

I expect a lot of people in our community will cry bloody murder over this news of MPD’s opposition to the relocation of Ziegfeld’s/Secrets. We want a copy of whatever statement of opposition MPD has issued, but if the facts are as you have stated, MPD has a fight on its hands. I can only hope that Chief Lanier will intervene to withdraw MPD’s opposition. Many of us worked too hard last year to build a trusting and productive working relationship with MPD to want to see it undermined now by such an unexpected and wrongheaded move on MPD’s part. As I and others have stated many times over the years, we do not seek an adversarial relationship with the police (and indeed the broad-based groundswell of community support for the GLLU last year showed how much progress has been made in police relations with the GLBT community), but we will defend our rights when they are threatened. We have a right to nightlife and entertainment choices the same as everyone else.

I encourage others to weigh in on this and to forward this message as appropriate.


Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance


Update


From:Rick Rosendall
Sent:Monday, March 31, 2008 10:38 PM
To:glaa@yahoogroups.com; membersonly@dccouncil.us; mayor@dc.gov; cathy.lanier@dc.gov; 'Parson, Brett (MPD)'; matt@gllu.org; tania@gllu.org; tomi@gllu.org; juanita@gllu.org; zunnobia@gllu.org; pat@gllu.org; buckley@gllu.org; kevin@gllu.org; vince@gllu.org; joe@gllu.org; dustin@gllu.org; sterling@gllu.org; Christopher.Dyer@dc.gov
Subject:Update: MPD opposes relocation of Ziegfeld's/Secrets


Friends,

See the update from Washington Blade reporter Lou Chibbaro below.

A map of the ANC in question, ANC6D, can be found online at:
http://www.anc6d.org/map.html

Regarding the previous nightclub that operated out of the same address, which was called Lime, it is patently absurd to punish the new tenant at a particular address for the actions of the previous tenant. The inclination to tar all clubs categorically with the same broad, prejudicial brush is something that we will not stand for.


Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance


-----Original Message-----
From:lchibbaro@washblade.com
Sent:Monday, March 31, 2008 9:33 PM
To:Rick Rosendall
Subject:Re: [GLAA] MPD opposes relocation of Ziegfeld's/Secrets


Rick,

Please keep in mind that this is an evolving story. Since I left you my voice message, Lt. Nicholas Gallucci of the First District MPD returned my call--about 7 p.m. tonight. He disagreed with the account by the ANC commissioner and ANC ABC Committee member that he told the March 26 meeting of the committee that he or the First District are officially opposed to the license transfer of Ziegfeld's/Secrets. He says the First District hasn't made a decision on whether to oppose the license transfer, although he acknowledged that he expressed strong concern that the club could create problems similar to the problems caused by Lime nightclub, the club operated out of 1824 Half St.,S.W. during the past several years.

I will alert you to further developments, for comment, as I learn about them.

Lou


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